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Posted : Nov 13, 2014 01:10:23
Review: Ironic Creatures V/A – Sangoma Records (Compiled by Izzy & Michael)
This compilation offers a decent variety of styles, focusing on harder-edged, yet groovy Psy, and is a definite asset to most DJ’s collection. The tracks flow in a connected way that provides a nice journey, starting off lighter and traveling through different vibes to hit a nice peak midway through, and settling down for a smooth landing at the end. You can find Ironic Creatures digitally through the Sangoma Bandcamp page, or in a physical CD version from your preferred Psy retailer. The Artwork, created by Jazzmine, and Kaliptus is quite visually impressive, using a cool color palette and tribal motifs that are a trademark of Sangoma releases.
#1 Psyberpunk & Hyper Frequencies - Rajasthan Twist
Ironic Creatures kicks things off with a funky trip through the streets of India. This one features lots of Hindi vocal samples, sounds of shattering glass, blaring horns of cars whizzing past, combined with percussion that marches forward to invoke the sense of dodging people and obstacles while making your way through a busy Indian Bazaar. An interesting tune, but it needs to be mixed effectively to avoid feeling too repetitive.
#2 Aseem & Yudhisthira – Psykick Ability
This one lifts the tempo, and brings the vibes up to some deep forest atmospheres, yet keeps the groove mellow so that it doesn’t overpower. I’m not terribly familiar with Aseem’s previous work, but this track definitely bears Yudhisthira’s trademark of mystical Macedonian forest vibes, nothing extremely mind-blowing or innovative here, but enjoyable nonetheless.
3. Chris Rich – Chew the Fat
Bom Shanka’s young prodigy from Plymouth delivers with the next offering on tap, and like most Bom Shanka tunes it brings a certain electricity to the dance floor, it will get people stomping and waving their arms in the air, with a definite element of booty-shake. Purists might be put off by the brief dubstep break in the middle, a controversial subject in trance, but nonetheless it’s well executed. A solid, well-focused composition with plenty of nice squelches, FM stabs and some nice driving percussion.
4. Synthetik Chaos – Vitale Destruction
This one picks up the pace just a bit more, it’s quite typical Synthetik Chaos, featuring a nice bouncy bass groove that just won’t quit, and very driving percussion. It’s very danceable, but I found it a bit light on storytelling, it could have benefitted from more variation. I’m sure it gets a solid response from the dance floor, but there’s really nothing here we haven’t heard from previous Synthetik Chaos tunes.
5. Illustrator – Universo Synth
Illustrator is a bit of a newcomer, but he really lets rip on this one with one of the most twisted tracks on this compilation. Definitely a tune to inject some life and energy into the dancefloor, this one accomplishes it’s magic with a deep blasting bass groove, razor sharp foresty leads, and some subtle resonating organic atmospheric flourishes. In my mind’s eye I find myself wandering underground caves or densely populated canopies, accompanied by liquid sounds like the drip of stalactites or the trickle of a waterfall, mystical echoes and the local fauna calling out into the night. This one fits equally well on the open deserts of the Mojave, or in the thick forest of Northern California during the deep night of under a full moon.
6. Tweakers – Memory Card V2
Next up is a collaborative effort from Shotu & Suddha under the Tweakers moniker. This one takes the energy down just a touch into a nice groove with solid bounce, drive and fun tribal percussion. It’s a nice track to give a dance floor a bit of a breather, without dropping the energy too low or sacrificing a Psychedelic atmosphere, and it would work well for transitional moments. It doesn’t stand out too much though, and it can get a bit repetitive so you’ll want to mix it dynamically.
7. Muscaria & Oran Om – Oona’s Desire
Muscaria and Oran Om deliver one of my favorite tracks on the album, and one that really manages to stand out with a unique vibe. Part of the magic comes from its infectiously danceable groove, which pulls you to your feet and compels you to shake your bum, but that’s just part of the story here. The refined arrangement of soft squelchy leads, warm organic psychedelic pads, deep forest atmospheres doesn’t overwhelm, and allows the listener to really appreciate the textures. Here is a tune that really captures the forest spirit in a living, breathing way, but manages into sprinkle in some unique sparse melodic textures, retaining a sense of accessibility and fun that really stands out amongst the sea of generic forest music out there.
8. Southwild – Organic Grains
Jay is certainly no stranger to the trance scene, he’s known for writing some top notch material and Organic Grains is no exception. The production quality really stands out as one of the most technically precise tracks on the compilation, his warm bass thunders along, and the well-polished sounds stand out with crystal clarity. A bouncy groove, tribal percussion, lots of squelches, growling animalistic synths, hi-pitched screeches, bleeps and sylvan timbres combine into a fun, organic yet still somewhat mechanical atmosphere. Well-arranged leads and textures work in counterpoint to keep everything psychedelic, yet accessible, and extremely danceable.
9. Kabayun - Visions (Kabadrop rmx)
This Gem stands out as one of the most uniquely creative tracks on the compilation, and I have played it in at least a few sets to an enthusiastic response from the dance-floor. Things start out with a hypnotic, lower octave groove and a deep, minimal, serious atmosphere. After a couple minutes the bass groove brings the midrange frequencies in, and the track becomes a lot more fun and bouncy, it’s still serious psychedelic business, but in a more light-hearted way. Midway through we are teased with the more serious vibe momentarily, then the bounce comes back in to pull people away from their camps and out to the dance floor. This tune is versatile as a transitional tool; you can mix it to either omit or leave in the lower-octave bass in the beginning, depending on what fits the current musical experience
10. Braincell – Atom Smasher
Finally, Braincell is here to bring things to a denouement with one final offering, dropping the energy slightly with his trademark hypnotic vibes. There’s little not to like with this one, Ralph’s pulsating psychedelic bubbling textures, stabs, pads and intricate percussive rhythms drive this one without much melody, until Ralph, true to form, elevates the track to its peak with an intoxicating arpeggiated melody. My only complaint is that this peak does not last longer, but it’s an enjoyable tune and works well as a set opener/closer.
Favorite Tracks: 3, 5, 7, 8, 9